- Are All Drug Reps Hot? Adnotated.

Thursday, 25 July, Year 11 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

brought to you by Reaganomics

brought to you by Reaganomics

(This is only peripherally about drug reps.)

Someone was arguing with me about why all drug reps are hot. I told him they weren't, and I would know. I've seen a lot of reps, I even used to train them, fly out to their HQs and give them a two hour lecture on the pharmacology of their and the other drugs.

"Then why does everyone say they are?" He told me that a friend of his in the medical field also noticed they were all hot. And didn't CNN or some blog say they hire college cheerleaders and sorority girls?

Of course, he isn't asking me because he wants a date. The point he is making, the point everyone always makes when they bring this up, is that this is a strategic plan of Big Pharma's: hiring eye candy to influence prescribing.

How would that work, exactly? Pfizer tells HR to screen applicants by cup size? You know HR is run by women, right?

I shouldn't have to explain that a company can't have an employment strategy that discriminates against a protected class. Saying that your hiring practices are a necessary part of a marketing strategy does not get you out of this.i

There are some jobs where appearance is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ -- see, there's even an acronym for it) and if you have to ask if your job is one of those, it isn't. Elite Modeling can hire based on looks, but Abercrombie & Fitch can't. I leaave you to tease out the details.

Surprisingly, ugly people are not a protected class, and phew. But while Pfizer can hire attractive women, it cannot be a hiring strategy. Could a manager choose the prettiest out of all the candidates and get away with it? Sure. But he couldn't hold out for only attractive ones. So if they did want their salesforce to be all attractive females, it would have to be, in effect, a conspiracy: everyone knowing the deal, and everyone playing along. Do you know how hard it is to get a conspiracy going in this country? It's impossible.

But most people have never met a drug rep. And people who have seen one in a doctor's office are sure they're hot -- "I saw her!" But the assumption is wrong, and your eyes are lying to you. You are all making the same mistake.


When you hear that all drug reps are hot, you can be confident that the person speaking is a middle aged man and/or someone with... limited sexual power. These people are prone to two errors. A psychological one: fetishization; and a biological one: mistaking for beauty what is merely youth.

This is supported by the reverse complaint among young male residents, young male reps, and guys who've been around the block: where are all the hot reps? This company blows.

These women aren't hot, they are polished, hair and nails, new shoes, clothes, time at the gym and plenty of sleep. (Sigh, that was me -- never.) What would you expect of a single woman with a lot of disposable income magnified 10x by credit? If you saw them in a bar you might not even notice them, but in a doctor's office their appearance is jarring, out of place, no one else has such attention to their appearance. No one else is as young. No one else walks with such confidence.ii


I'm not saying reps aren't trying to influence doctors; I am only saying that the looks aren't part of corporate strategy, and [it's] asinine to the point of insanity to believe that the 25 year old female rep put on an Ann Taylor suit and Nine West pumps to look good for you, so you'll prescribe Zyprexa.

If you found an actual hot rep, and asked her if she thought she looked hot in that suit, she would say, "oh God, in work clothes?"

But it's those clothes, that job, that make her sexy. Take a 25 year old and put her in a bar, she's a girl. Put her in the clothes and she's a woman -- so for a 40 year old, there's much less guilt about seeing her as a sex object, because she isn't a sex object, she's a professional.iii

"Sex for scripts" is not a derivative of prostitution. It is sexy because it is not prostitution. If it were strictly transactional, it would lose its sex appeal -- no one fantasizes about having sex with prostitutes, they have fantasies of paying for sex, and the fantasy isn't that she does it even though she doesn't want toiv, the fantasy is that she wants it so much she'll do it for so little.v What makes it sexy is the fantasy that the woman doesn't mind it at all; for her, sex is easy, comfortable, immediate. She'll have sex with a man simply out of curiosity: "I just wanted to see if he was any good."vi

They don't have to have sex with you, of course, but their threshold for doing it is much lower. The image of a woman offering her sexuality to obtain a non-sexual reward -- in this case scripts, but it's no different from the idea of the woman who blows the bouncer to get into a clubvii, or sleeps with the band's frontman even though she thinks he's kind of weird looking, just for the storyviii-- is comforting. It offers an explanation for why her sex seems so easy with other men and so out of reach for you: she's doing it for some reason that is not sex. So you make it porn -- she has the ability to enjoy sex even with people she doesn't actually likeix -- and now you ladies know why your boyfriend doesn't care a lick about the three years you spent with your ex, but goes all quiet when you bring up a drunken one night stand. Say this: "he was cute, I guess, but I don't actually remember his name," and strap in for the best sex he can deliver (or a beating.)

If I say "drug rep," you think she's hot. If I say, "she blew the bouncer to get into the club," again, you think hot. If I say she's a "nurse" then she's hot. But if I say she's a surgical nurse, or a nurse practitioner, then she's not hot. The more specific you get, the older you imagine her to be, and the specifics crowd out the fantasy.x

That makes being a drug rep a fetish, in which the jobxi -- not the woman -- is attributed with sexual power that it does not have, but we all act as if it does. That same girl in a supermarket might be ordinary; but call her a drug rep and give her the uniform, and it's boner time. That uniform is just as important as her actual appearance. Uniforms de-humanize (that's the point of them.) The uniform tells you to think of this person not as an individual but as whatever that uniform represents. But if that uniform represents sex (as do nursing uniforms, etc) then the woman can't help but being thought of as sex. So you have to abandon the uniform.


Instead of wondering why Pfizer hires only young women to be reps, you should ask why young people are lured into Pharma.xii

And why not? Money is great out of college; it's a purely white collar job, not much experience is necessary. While it's not a physically taxing job, who else wants to enter a career where they have to work three nights a week until 10p? I know it's at a restaurant, but these young women you expect to be hot have enough money to go on their ownxiii, with people they like, not a 50 something "I was an obstetrician in my country" or a table of know-nothing residents who all think they're going to Vasco da Gama the buried data of the presentation.xiv

But the hidden danger is that for most of these reps, there is no future in Pharma.xv Pharma cut more jobs than any other private sector industry, about 100k since 2009.

Whatever else you might think about reps, they represent the goal of the nation: young, motivated, college educated workers who want to 401k their future, have families, watch the Super Bowls and not get involved with nonsense.xvi The problem with the nation is that it didn't have any jobs to offer them except Pharma (and similar) jobsxvii. Those jobs don't exist now, and there aren't any other jobs for them.xviii It's one thing to say the poor/uneducated can't find work, it's another thing to say the explicitly desired outcome of this country's social and educational system can't find work.xix The supply is there; but there's no demand. And there's no demand because there's not enough people who create stuff creating stuff which would justify the other jobs.xx

When this occurs, a country has two options. It can support those young people through social services, healthcare, housing and food subsidies, etc -- with steady GDP growth of about 5%; or it can create jobs. The first one is called Egypt.xxi

Let's stick with the Pharma example, though it applies everywhere. If Pharma was creating new drugs, it could justify all these jobs. Now they aren't, so jobs are cut. Create new drugs and everyone's back in business. Ok -- but wrong.

They never were creating new drugsxxii, they were only creating new markets. I realize Zoloft and Lexapro are nominally different drugs, but they are really the same drug, packaged differently: markets were created to sustain both Lexapro and Zoloft; not one market with two products, but a doubling of the market. In a perfect world, Lexapro wouldn't have been invented, they would have worked on something else. But since they knew they could create a market for "another Zoloft," they took the easy route. And they hired a salesforce, accordingly.

While that was good for Lexapro, it's terrible for the country. Temporarily -- and ten years is temporary -- hiring all these people to essentially duplicate efforts cannibalizes resources from other industries.xxiii All of those reps might have done something else, back when they were young enough to do something else. You might say it's not for me to judge whether being a rep is more valuable to society than being, say, an engineer. I agree, that is not my place to judge, the market can do that; but it is the responsibility of the nation's administrators to decide what they want for their 18 year investment. And if they want more engineers, entrepreneurs, creators, they have to incentivize thatxxiv, and de-incentivize other choices. And if Pharma is offering $60k + benefits, the country's got to come up with something better.

Here's an example: Pharma offers 401k with matching benefits. The government, if it wants to use stimulus money the right way, could offer college grads who go into jobs the country wants (e.g. engineering) a matching pension.xxv In 2009, $50B worth of school loans were in defaultxxvi). If you spent only $10B a year on grants to pay for e.g., engineering, you could get 200k engineers through college. Etc.xxvii And many people who are already employed would love a way to fund side projectsxxviii, in essence doubling the output of a single person.

The chief predictor (actually, the only predictor) of suicide is hopelessness. A person can withstand all manner of attacks and traumas, but if you take away hope all bets are off. When the hopelessness becomes endemic, it looks like this:


  1. Holy shit-fuck this idiocy. Ugly women are a protected class ? Burn it all down. []
  2. Must suck to be a doctor in the zone by now. []
  3. Definitionally, a 40yo who experiences "guilt" over seeing a female as a sex object is going to have very little "sexual power". []
  4. No, actually, that's the fantasy throughout the world. Not the practice, no, but the fantasy. []
  5. No dude, the fantasy is that she's mom, except the aliens came and laid eggs in her nape and now she's a) much less threatening and b) ready to please. []
  6. People who are interested in this fuck pornstars, which work exactly as described. []
  7. That's not a woman, that's a girl, and the seductive part is that in spite of being a girl, she's figured things out. Nothing restores one's faith in humanity quite like a young woman that's nevertheless not entirely fucking stupid ; and nobody has so much room for some restoration of said faith as people with some experience of the world. []
  8. No, not for "the story". It's the story of something, and that something is her duty. She sleeps with the dude for her womanly duty, and the story of her having done it. []
  9. This is total fucking bullshit. Women like people on the basis of enjoying sex with them. This isn't saying that their enjoyment of the sex "itself" is the driver of the wider behaviour, but that the root node is the same for both and sex is closer to it.

    And before you start with "no, they like their children" -- every mother in the history of the species has had sex with each of her children at least once, as per the definition of the fucking terms. See ? Nice and stretchy, too! Also exactly what I said above, "women like people on the basis of enjoying sex with them". Now, what is it that you do you not want to see, and why don't you wish to see it ? []

  10. "Nurse practitioner" sounds like a cop-out, "not-really-nurse", "technically-nurse", like a nurse GED. This is never hot because if she were hot, nobody'd add the qualification, it'd be implied. "Surgical nurse" sounds merely kinky, the latex gloves and surgical steel tooling crowd out the bee-bop imagery. []
  11. "Drug rep" is not a job, it's a femoccupation, like "student" or "tavern wench". By very fucking definition femoccupations are fetishizing (not fetishized, fetishizing. []
  12. Young women (that aren't completely braindead) are always to be found in the same one position : in the way [of young men of means]. []
  13. Not anymore ; those days are long gone, and were gone a decade ago also. []
  14. Doctorhood sure went downhill, huh. []
  15. Wtf "future". These girls are receptionists, give or take. The plan is to dress from Zara until marriage, that's the only future. []
  16. What does the author... []
  17. A "service economy" is the theory we'll claw our way to prosperity by doing each other's laundry.

    Worked so perfectly well for Argentina, to... []

  18. That's okay, girls that "hot" are also magically rich enough to afford going to restaurants with people they like, so they'll probably pull the country right back out of the hole.

    Oh, wait... []

  19. The 20-something chicks that could speak French in communist Romania were lookin for the exact sort of "work" : outfangwif for some dominant male somewhere. This is work, yes, but eminently not in the sense contemplated here, it's republican work, not imperial "work". []
  20. No, actually, there's no demand because for each 1%-er spot opened in the hierarchy ten thousand 10%-er spots were destroyed, and the dumb cunts are vehehehery slow to catch on and adapt their strategies to the new realities.

    Not that slow, though -- by now most girls coming of age now are rather into poly/BDSM/sanity than "marriage". It does leave a whole cohort now nearing 40 out in the cold, but you know what ? Tough titty, and fuck them. []

  21. No. Nothing in the US can be called anything in the old world, for very good reasons. []
  22. How the fuck are you even going to "create" new drugs, it's like pretending to create "new" music. What the fuck is that, new music ? Zee Germans already did it all. []
  23. What fucking "industries" ? There's no industry left, and that aside, the only remaining activity is wank. []
  24. Get off it, there's no incentivizing science. []
  25. Why, so all the parasites could write "engineer" on their door, in the same crayon they use now ? []
  26. By now, it's all of them, while everyone gleefully pretends not to notice. (Not even kidding -- last time it was even reported it was >1 trillion, covering ~10 million cases, back in 2014. For comparison, the total amount of school debt is about 2 trillion, aka 8% of USG GDP. []
  27. What does the author... ahahahahahhaha []
  28. Top keks. Ballas can be such a fucking lulzcow. []
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3 Responses

  1. [...] Are All Drug Reps Hot? [...]

  2. [...] is patriarchy through and through, no wonder your daugthers fail so systematically at getting "a" job. Maybe it should be... an ovester [...]

  3. [...] is more damaging. [↩]This is possibly his lowest point. [↩]But if the reps are... sorta-hot, why not ? What sort of company does this man keep ? [↩]This isn't the problem "from the [...]

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